Monday, January 30, 2023

Thoughts On 2023 Snatcher's Tournaments (Tentative)


Sunday, June 4th, Bay Lake: This will be the fourth time the Snatchers will begin the tournament season on Bay Lake. I had a 2nd Place finish in 2012 with 15/11 fishing with Roger Ubl; In 2015, I had an 18th Place finish with 10lbs on a cold and windy day with Todd Berghuis; and in 2018, I had a 14th Place finish with a 10/01 bag fishing out of Chuck Steinbuaers boat on a rainy and windy day. Bay has never been a lake to produce giant bags, but it does kick out a lot of limits. The pre-fish I had with Roger Ubl back in 2012 was amazing with how many bass and pike we caught. Always happy to be going back to Bay Lake. I want to thank the club for voting with me to switch this one to Sunday, so I can make the tournament.

Saturday, June 24th, North Long Lake: This will be the fourth Snatcher Tournament and 6th overall (2 Snatcher Mini-Bucks). The previous three Snatcher tournaments resulted in 17th, 23rd, and 20th Place finishes. For some reason, I have struggled to get on the same page with the fish on this lake. Looking forward to cracking the code and getting a limit. I failed to get a limit here in 2017 and 2021.

Saturday, July 15th, Lake Alexander: This will be 3rd time I get a shot at Alexander. The first time was in early June 2014, and it went ok with me bringing in a 10/01 limit. The second tournament was in late June, and I struggled to get bites, only bringing in 3 small bass. Looking to get revenge here as well.

Saturday, August 12th, Lake Winnibigoshish: Who knows if this one will make the final cut. I have a friend who just purchased a place up that way. So it won't be the killer of a drive it would be if I had to leave from here. Rumor has it that Big Winni has big bass. Tuma has been trying to get us to go. This may be the year it happens.

Saturday, September 9th, Whitefish Chain: This will be the 7th time the Snatchers have visited the Chain since I joined the club. But it would only be the 3rd time fishing it in September, and the two previous times were later in the month. We got nice weather once and high winds the second time. If we hit it just right, this could be a phenomenal pick. It's post-Labor Day which will cut down on boat traffic, and smallies are still an option.

Saturday, September 30th, Pokegama: The club last got up to the Poke at Grand Rapids in 2016. All three times I have fished up, there have been summer tournaments. Provided it isn't a cold, rainy, miserable day, I also like this one.  I give this schedule two thumbs up. Hope nothing changes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

1st Fish Of 2023


8" Cubby Mini-Mite (Glow)

Turns out I was wrong about no traffic on the lake. I guess it got pounded in December because the bite was on fire and then it really slowed down, probably due to the schools being atomized by Livescope.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Snatcher's Wish List For 2023 Tournament Lakes

 It's that time of the year again. Next weekend the Baxter Bass Snatchers will pick lakes for the 2023 season. Here is my wishlist.

Yes Please! (Away Lakes LIsted In Order Of Preference):

Rush (Ottertail)
Little Boy/Wabedo
Pokegama (Rapids)
FishHook (Park Rapids)

Yes Please! (Local Lakes No Order Preference; they all good):
North Long
Mississippi River (Rice Lake)
Mississippi River (Zebulon Pike Res) 

Indifferent About:
Birch (Hackensack)
Whitefish Chain

Please, NO!
Cedar (Aiken)

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

I Want KOC's Head On A Pike

 It is no secret I will forever be a Zim guy. He was an excellent Head Coach whom the fan base and ownership abandoned because of player injuries. I don't care if his style rubbed some players the wrong way. He was a winner that proved it every time he was in the playoffs. The loss to Seattle was 100% on Blair Walsh. He beat a HOF Coach and QB combo at home and as an underdog on the road. We gave up on that winning pedigree for an Offensive whiz kid with a positive approach. I remained skeptical as he racked up wins, but you can't argue with the results. A 13-win season is fantastic! Still, I was not on board the KOC train. 13 wins are almost meaningless if we get upset at home. With the D that showed up yesterday, we get beat 10 out of 10 times by that Giant's Offense. If they had to have points, they got 'em.   Where was the toughness and aggression to start the game on D? They looked lost and were as soft as a marshmallow on the first two Giant drives. That isn't acceptable. It should be a dogfight from the very first snap. It's playoff time at home. Send a message. Instead, they rolled on their bellies. What the...? The Giants seized the initiative due to a bad strategic choice of play call, took the lead, and went up by two scores like they were taking candy from a baby. That baby was our whiz kid coach. That is playoff football, and your team got steamrolled by a better coach who understands playoff football better than you. If I was the Team owner, you would be gone, but you wouldn't be the coach in the first place. If Zim was coach, he would be gone too, but I don't think a Zim-coached team loses that game with an equivalently healthy roster. No way!

I don't think the KOC high-flying magic show is worth a darn come playoff time. I don't think KOCs team will be able to make the playoffs next year. How long will I have to wait to find out if he figured out how to win in the playoffs? This coach is dead to me until he proves he can win a playoff game. Good luck with that, Coach Soft Soap GigaChad.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Vikes Fail At Home, Season Over

A soft defense that didn't start getting physical until the Vikes were behind. A lack of commitment to the run with a healthy Dalvin Cook. The team wasn't tough enough. I  don't know where the team goes from here, and I don't envy Kwesi. The Vikes are now in a tough spot with many hard decisions ahead. They got rid of Zim one season too early, and this loss in the playoffs confirms that. Cousins played a pretty darn good game; The pass play to him on third and short was flat-out a mistake, and TE Butterfingers let us down once again. I have more to say about our head coach, but I'll leave that for another blog.

I am now rooting for McCarthy's Cowboys, Burrow's Bengals, and Diggs's Bills.

Monday, January 09, 2023

Vikings Get Win #13 And The Pack Get Eliminated

Vikes beat Da Bears 29-13


Pack lose to the Lions 20-16
I did not expect the Vikes to be a 13-win team, but here we are. Do I think the Vikes have a shot at making the Super Bowl? Absolutely. They have a shot if the team can put three straight games together where the three phases of the game hit on all cylinders for 60 minutes. It all starts with Kirk being at his best. No bad Kirk, no disappearing Kirk. This is an opportunity for Kirk to write a new narrative for his career. If our O-Line can raise their game and create holes for Dalvin, this team will be dangerous. If the D can hold opponents to 20 points or less, that should give us a shot. I don't think we have seen this team's best effort yet. Good Luck, Boys! SKOL!

Monday, January 02, 2023

Packer Get Revenge, Crush Vikings At Lambert

 I'm giving the team a pass on this one. Crazy start to the game. Losing our backup center after the blocked kick exposed a player that wasn't ready to fill the role. The O-Line was a mess, then a disaster after O'Neil went down. Worst O-Line play of the year. I am just thankful Kirk, and the playmakers didn't get hurt. Hopefully, O'Neil's injury isn't serious. Being the 3 seed isn't the end of the world. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles can hold on to the #1 seed and if the Pack can beat the Lions next week. I think the Lions will win, as I believe the Packers are smoke and mirrors. However, I think the Packers are who I would prefer to win next week to shake things up. Let A-Rog go to Philly or the Bay. Maybe he can steal a victory or two. The #7 knocking out a #2 makes this loss almost meaningless

Sunday, January 01, 2023

BP's Top Bass Snatcher of 2022


In early July, a poster in the In-Depth Outdoors bass forum wrote about his success on a Z-Man GOAT Toadz. My ears perked up, seeing that he was talking about topwater explosions. I did some investigating. There are 4 different GOAT baits made by Z-Man. Three of them are different-sized grubs (Baby GOAT, The GOAT, Billy GOAT), and the fourth is the Toadz, which made its debut in 2022; they released the Grubs a year or two earlier. All I could get my hands on at first was The GOAT size. Immediately, fish were all over it, so I quickly placed an order at Tackle Warehouse because they had baits in stock, hoping to get some Toadz and Billy GOATs in time for a tournament on the Crow Wing River. Unfortunately, they got delayed in shipping and didn't make it. The Billy GOAT and Toadz were straight-fire for me until it finally got too cold for topwater. The Billy Goat was my #1 bass catcher in 2022, and the Toadz finished #2. Not counted are a significant number of fish that got off in the reeds or heavy slop. Also not figured into the numbers is that I used the Billy GOAT as a Chatterbait, Spinnerbait, Swim Jig Trailer, and the Toadz on buzzbaits. With this bait concept, Z-Man hit a home run; it draws strikes like a champion. 

Here are my Top 10 Bass Lures for 2022, by the numbers:
The Craw Tube's total put it into 3rd Place overall.
The Brovarney Jig caught an additional 26 largies putting it in 5th Place.
The eBay Chatterjig also caught 7 largies making it my 6th most productive bass lure of 2022.

2022 Top Lure: The Glow Demon


2021 was the year of T.H.E. Jig, a small panfish hair jig.

2022 was the year of the Glow Demon and Crappie Minnow, and it wasn't even close. This combo was my most productive lure in a year, catching me 721 fish, unseating T.H.E. Jig, which brought in 701 fish in 2021. T.H.E. Jig came in second this year, catching me 367 fish. As I said, it was a blowout.

Here is the breakdown of what I landed on the Glow Demon: 



Teckel Frogs Production Fell Off A Cliff in 2022

 In 2021 the Teckel Whacker did serious work bringing in 107 bass, and the Sprinker Frog is usually good for one to two dozen bass brought in per year. I only caught 4 bass between the two baits all year, yikes. They didn't show any interest when I was throwing the Whacker, which doesn't have any rattles, and eventually, I just stopped throwing it. I'm sure they will rebound in 2023; only four fish is ridiculous. 

2022 One Fish Wonders Pike/Tooth & Walleye/Gold

As opposed to the bass list, these lures that only got a single pike are not a disappointment. I don't need no stinking pike.

As for the Walleye side of things,

only the crawtube and Brovarney Jig are not a disappointment as I do not expect to catch a golden bullhead on either, pure bonus fish. I had a decent year for Golden's  at the Grumpy Old Man Hole. The Jetty was pretty much trash for the second straight Fall, so disappointing.  

2022 Battle For Big Bass Between My Bro's

 Goes to Todd:

With a 4.51 lber

That edged out Steve's

4.03 lb fish

I think had they both been healthy fish with full bellies, Steve's would have been the bigger fish based on the size of its head. Both fish look like they were undersized, Steve's significantly.

What does Todd win?
Bragging Rights, Baby! Todd gets bragging rights for an entire year. 

My Biggest Fish of 2022

 That Fricken Pike at the crow wing River

Bowfin at Platte Lake

This 4.67lber Will Do, Didn't Get a 5lber in '22

14.75"/1.80lb New Personal Best Silver Bullhead/Crappie

7lb Golden Bullhead/Walleye